No you’re not hardcore…

No you’re not hardcore, unless you live hardcore…so goes the classic Jack Black refrain from School of Rock.

I am not what you might call a risk-taker, but I’ve found my own way to live on the edge this summer with winter biking.

photo 1 (4)
Yes, I clearly look very tough. Last summer, I made a resolution to start using my bike as a primary means of transportation. Reasons being…

  • environmental
  • recreational
  • fun way to get exercise

When the seasons changed, as they do in Minnesota, I stopped because it was too cold rainy snowy take your pick of excuses. I noticed that I was more irritable at work and whenever driving in my car in the morning, I felt sad and a little guilty that I wasn’t biking. So, I decided to stop making excuses and do what I needed to do to be a winter biker!

Here’s what it took:

Clothes: Lack of appropriate clothing for winter biking was one of the main excuses I used to avoid it. I did not own any rain gear, nor did I own warm/waterproof boots that would be good for biking in. I decided to invest in the appropriate clothing. I bought a raincoat, rain pants, and boots. Total cost: ~$130

Tires: Riding on the snow and ice scares me. I am already a fairly cautious bike rider, and the extra instability of the snow and ice left me feeling really anxious and nervous about falling. Luckily, I live in the greatest biking city in the United States (I ❤ you, Minneapolis), so bike trails are consistently plowed and maintained throughout the winter. Still, conditions could be better. I decided to invest in some studded bike tires designed to travel well over ice and help with snow. Total cost: ~$170

photo 3 (4) photo 4 (4)
Courage: Lastly – and most importantly – I just had to do it! Even after getting the appropriate clothes and buying new tires, I was still really nervous. The first couple times, I had to convince myself I needed to actually go out and ride my bike (which wasn’t too hard since I’d already spent the money!). Each time I get to work in one piece though, I build a little more confidence and feel more ready for the next time.

Moral of the story, I may not be the biggest daredevil, but I am taking on the winter with my bike and getting a little braver every day. 🙂

In other news, I’ve continued to do some top-notch cooking from the Practical Paleo cookbook. As I shared last week, I made pumpkin pancakes which were so delicious that I wanted to try a few more recipes from the book.

At the beginning of the week, I made swirly crustless quiche. 

photo 1 (5)

The recipe was SUPER simple. All you do is combine everything in a bowl and then bake it into a delicious egg bake:

photo 2 (5) photo 3 (5) photo 4 (5)

It made a great lunch and dinner during the week:

photo 5 (5)
Trying my hand at a more ambition project, I also gave stuffed cabbage a whirl:

photo 2 (6)
This recipe was a lot more time consuming and involved steaming the cabbage, stuffing them with meat/veggie mixture, covering it with tomato/cranberry sauce (cranberry sauce also had to be made), and then cooking in the oven:

photo 1 (6) photo 3 (6)
This was a fun project, so I didn’t mind the extra time required by the recipe. The end result was very good, but I got a little sick of it by the time I had it for the fifth (or sixth!) meal. I need to remember to always downsize recipes a lot.

stuffed cabbage served with roasted sweet potatoes

stuffed cabbage served with roasted sweet potatoes

Paleo Pancakes and Pizza Luce

Several months ago, I bought the cookbook Practical Paleo.

IMG_2929
I don’t follow a paleo diet (and do not support following any strict diet plan!), but I do like a lot of paleo recipes and appreciate the paleo approach to eating for two primary reasons.

1. They promote eating whole foods
2. They discourage fear of fat and encourage regular consumption of fat in meat and other natural sources (see my post about not being scared of fat here)

Despite admiring this cookbook on the shelf and reading through it a few times, I haven’t actually made any recipes from it. Why does this always happen with cookbooks? I seem to always use recipes on the internet or just make them up.

Today was the day for a recipe from the book!

IMG_2928
The recipe I chose was for pumpkin pancakes. The recipe was a simple collection of pumpkin puree, eggs, coconut flour (but I used almond), and some spices. Mix it all up:

IMG_2927

Cook it all up:

IMG_2926

And serve with dried bananas and coconut butter (if you’re me):

IMG_2930

Delicious!

In other news, I have a recap from a visit to Pizza Luce from a few weeks ago.

IMG_2912
Pizza Luce is a popular pizza chain around the Twin Cities area that specializes in creative options with plenty of vegetarian and vegan selections. We ordered quite a feast and had plenty of leftovers! To start, we ordered Focaccia Katerina which was focaccia bread covered with pesto, goat cheese, and bruschetta:

IMG_2913
I ordered a veggieball hoagie with a ‘side salad:’

IMG_2916 IMG_2914

As you can see, the side salad was enormous. My dining partner ordered a build-your-own pizza with chicken, tomatoes, and basil:

IMG_2915

Everything was delicious! I would definitely go here again. Also, if you’re buying gifts this holiday season, Pizza Luce is doing a special where you can buy $100 worth of gift cards for $80.